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NCJ Number: 154232 Find in a Library
Title: Police Use of Excessive Force: Does the Race of the Suspect Influence Citizens' Perceptions?
Journal: Social Justice Research  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1995)  Pages:41-56
Author(s): D M Rome; I S Son; M S Davis
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: 91-BJ-CX-K038
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Instances of excessive force by police officers, most notably the Rodney King incident in Los Angeles and the Malice Green fatality in Detroit, suggest that suspect race may affect the decision to use excessive force.
Abstract: To assess citizen evaluations of police brutality toward minorities, a telephone survey containing 16 vignettes was developed as part of a larger study focusing on police misconduct. Each vignette described a separate type of misconduct in which a hypothetical police officer was involved. Of the 16 vigettes, three described the misconduct of excessive force. The telephone survey involved 992 Ohio citizens and tested the hypothesis that citizens in general would assign significantly lower seriousness scores to excessive force toward blacks and Hispanics than toward whites. The hypothesis was not supported. Instead, evidence suggested that suspect behavior during arrest and police officer behavior were much more significant correlates of citizen perceptions of excessive force by police than suspect race. Respondents generally assigned higher seriousness scores to vignettes when the suspect was black or Hispanic than when the suspect was white. Further, women assigned higher seriousness scores than their male counterparts. 33 references and 4 tables
Main Term(s): Police Brutality
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Black/White Crime Comparisons; Caucasian/White Americans; Criminology; Hispanic Americans; Ohio; Police misconduct; Police use of deadly force; Public Opinion of the Police; Racial discrimination
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